Close and Distant

Political Executive–Media Relations in Four Countries
Editor(s): Karl Magnus Johansson, Gunnar Nygren

NB. Figure 7.5 (Chapter 7, page 161) in the print publication contain errors, see Errata. The digital publication includes the corrected version. (January 30, 2019)

This book explores the interplay between government and media drawing on unique evidence from, and in-depth analysis of, four national cases: Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. Based on the chapters dedicated to each country, five additional chapters address the following cross-national themes: government communication, social media, formality/informality in journalist-source relations, mediatisation of politics, and political communication culture.

The book reveals what really goes on between the political executive and the media in everyday practices within these countries. First, it uncovers a process of mediated political-cultural change within media-political systems. Second, it illustrates the workings of prime ministerial power and communication aides at this apex of political power and the media and those who work there. Third, it examines both the struggle within governing institutions to control the flow of information and the tensions between civil servants and political aides, and takes the reader through the four media-political contexts rooted in a deep knowledge of these relationships.

The result is an illuminating and original analysis of politics, political communication, media and journalism, and offers greater understanding of the realities of government – and democracy – and media in practice as well as the role of media within contemporary politics.

Karl Magnus Johansson is a Professor of Political Science and Gunnar Nygren is a Professor of Journalism, both in the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University, Stockholm.


Preface and acknowledgments
Gunnar Nygren, Karl Magnus Johansson

The interplay of media and the political executive. Introduction and framework
Gunnar Nygren, Karl Magnus Johansson

Part one

Finland: Informal interdependence and occasional clashes
Risto Niemikari, Tapio Raunio, Tom Moring

Lithuania: Media-politics interaction shaped by benefits-oriented reasoning
Auksė Balčytienė, Milda Malling

Poland: Independent vs servile relationships
Bogusława Dobek-Ostrowska, Jacek Nożewski

Sweden: A professionally symbiotic relationship
Karl Magnus Johansson, Milda Malling, Gunnar Nygren

Part two

Government communication in a comparative perspective
Karl Magnus Johansson: Tapio Raunio

Social media in political communication. A substitute for conventional media?
Elena Johansson

Power and exchange in formal and informal interaction between journalists and their sources
Milda Malling

Media logics as parts of the political toolkit. A critical discussion on theories of mediatisation of politics
Gunnar Nygren, Risto Niemikari

Variations in political communication culture. New forms of political parallelisms and media-politics coalitions
Auksė Balčytienė, Tom Moring

Part three

Locked in a mutual dependency. Media and the political executive in close interplay
Karl Magnus Johansson, Gunnar Nygren

List of abbreviations